Traditional Mexican candies as we know them today originated in the colonial times, when the Spanish learned the possibility of extracting sugar from sugar canes.
Before that, candies did not exist; during the Pre-Hispanic times, what was considered as the finest dessert were little honey ant sacks, sweetened with mead, bee honey or agave honey.
The original residents of Mexico obtained sweeteners by boiling agave leaves, which chewed them or crushed them. For the ancient Mexican people, mixed bee honey or agave honey with amaranth was the way to ate sweets.
Since the arrival of the sugar cane in Mexico began to make much more sophisticated desserts, production and techniques were improved and developed in order to shift the flavor of the ingredients by combining them.
Homes started to have the habit of preparing canned fruits with sugar cane; from that moment on guava and quince ates1 emerged. Afterward, in the market, candy stands began to sell simple candies such as melcocha2 or little chunks of boiled pineapple too.
Thus, it was that little by little traditional Mexican candies that we know nowadays were created. Almost each state in Mexico have their own traditional sweets made, especially with the local fruits of the region, that give these candies a very special character and flavor.
- Ate is a traditional sweet; it is a thick jelly made with guava and quince pulp. Also, it is known as quince or guava cheese.
- Melcocha is a type of confection originated from Spain, molded into a long-twisted shape, made of cane sugar mixed other ingredients.